The use of rohypnol

Rohypnol is quickly becoming the new “love drug” being abused in Florida and around the country. “Roofies” “roche”, “R-2”, “rib” and “rope” are some of the names given to this drug on the street.

According to a University of Florida drug hotline, “Roofies” are often combined with alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine to produce a rapid and very dramatic “high”. Even when used by itself, users can appear extremely intoxicated, with slurred speech, no coordination, swaying, and blood-shot eyes…with no odor of alcohol. The drug has been added to punch and other drinks at fraternity parties and college social gatherings, where it is reportedly given to female party participants in hopes of lowered inhibitions and facilitating potential sexual conquest. Police departments in several parts of the country say that after ingestion of “Roofies” that young women have reported waking up with no clothes on, finding themselves in unfamiliar surroundings with unfamiliar people, or having actually been sexually assaulted while under the influence of the drug.

If you suspect you have been drugged contact the police, a hospital or a friend and seek help immediately.

Here is some information about ROHYPNOL.

WHAT IS ROHYPNOL?

* A benzodiazepine, or sedative, with approximately ten-times the potency of diazepam (Valium).

* Most tablets in the United States are imported illegally from Mexico.

* The tablets manufactured in Mexico are round, white and slightly smaller than an aspirin. The manufacturer’s marking is similar to those found those found on Rivotril and Valium.

IS IT LEGAL?

* Rohypnol cannot be prescribed or sold legally in the U. S. or Canada, however, it can be brought into both countries in limited amounts if prescribed by a foreign physician. It cannot be prescribed, sold, or legally imported into the U.S. (importation banned in March 1996).

* In March 1995, this drug became the first benzodiazepine to be moved to Schedule III by the World Health Organization, requiring more thorough record keeping on its distribution.

* Possession is illegal in Florida.

WHY THE CONCERN?

* The first reports of Rohypnol abuse in the U.S. were in 1993 in southern Florida.

* Reports indicate Rohypnol use is growing among high school students in the South, where it is seen as a cheap high – $.50 to $3.00 a pill. Because it is sold in a bubble pack, it can be mistaken for a legal (safe) substance. Continued use can result in addiction.

* Adverse effects can include loss of memory, impaired judgement, dizziness, and prolonged periods of blackout. Although a sedative, Rohypnol can induce aggressive behavior.

* This drug has been associated with date rape. Several arrests have been made in cases where it has allegedly been added to a woman’s drink without her knowledge, for the purpose of reducing resistance. It is odorless, colorless and tasteless when added to either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.

* Possession of this drug is a felony. Use of any drug to facilitate another crime increases the severity of the penalty for the underlying crime. The potential for addiction of this type of drug is high. Before you use or continue to use Rohypnol get the facts.

For further information on this or others safety topics please contact the University of Florida Police Department’s Community Services Division at 392-1409.